The Half-Drowned King: A Novel by Linnea HartsuykerSurviving his stepfather's plot to have him killed during a raiding voyage, Ragnvald Eysteinsson vows to seek revenge and reclaim his stolen birthright. The young warrior pledges his loyalty to Harald of Vestfold, a king determined to unite Norway under his rule, while Ragnvald's sister Svanhild, faced with an arranged marriage, must make a difficult decision about her future. This 1st book in a forthcoming trilogy presents an exciting Viking saga that should appeal to fans of Cecilia Holland's Corban Loosestrife novels or Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories.
The Essex Serpent: A Novel by Sarah PerryFreed from an unhappy marriage by her husband's death, Victorian widow Cora Seaborne settles in Colchester, where she pursues her interest in natural history by searching the Blackwater estuary for evidence of the Essex Serpent, a winged serpent dismissed as superstition by vicar Will Ransome, but greatly feared by the locals. Fans of the heady atmosphere and lush descriptions found in Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White should find much to enjoy in this layered narrative, which explores Victorian English society and culture through the experiences of its ensemble cast.
The Alice Network: A Novel by Kate QuinnBy 1947, Charlotte "Charlie" St. Clair is desperate to find out what happened to her cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war. With her college career on hold due to an unplanned pregnancy, Charlie pursues her only lead: hard-drinking retired spy Eve Gardiner, who has her own private reasons for helping Charlie and whose story is revealed in flashbacks. Inspired by the exploits of a real-life World War I intelligence network, this novel sends its flawed, but sympathetic characters on a life-changing journey across post-WWII Europe as they investigate the past and contemplate their futures.
See What I Have Done by Sarah SchmidtLizzie Borden took an axe...and, well, we all know what happened next. Or do we? This unsettling debut by Australian author Sarah Schmidt tells the story from the (conflicting) perspectives of Lizzie, her elder sister, a maid in the Borden household, and a stranger whose surprising connection to the crime is gradually revealed. With its creeping dread and unreliable narrators, See What I Have Done may appeal to fans of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.
Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York by Francis SpuffordLondoner Richard Smith arrives in New York in 1746, bearing a promissory note for 1000 pounds, which he presents to merchant Gregory Lovell at the countinghouse on Golden Hill Street. But what does he need with such a large sum of money? Charming Richard won't say, but that doesn't stop people from speculating wildly. Meanwhile, Richard finds plenty to occupy him in Manhattan, and chaos soon ensues in this spirited picaresque novel, which employs rich period detail to recreate pre-Revolutionary America.
Grace: A Novel by Natashia DeónGrace is the name that Josey's mother, Naomi, would have given her, had she not been murdered by slave-catchers shortly after giving birth to the blonde, light-skinned child of her former owner. Yet not even death can keep Naomi from watching over her daughter, who grows up on an Alabama plantation and experiences the turmoil of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Narrated by Naomi, Grace utilizes flashbacks from Naomi's life to draw parallels between her experiences and that of her daughter in a moving novel that explores an unbreakable bond between parent and child.
Stolen Beauty: A Novel by Laurie Lico AlbaneseWhen Adele Bloch-Bauer, the uncontested queen of fin-de-siècle Viennese society, commissions the talented but disreputable Gustav Klimt to paint her portrait, they form a scandalous connection. Gustav and Adele's story alternates with that of Adele's niece Maria, whose peaceful and prosperous life is shattered by Hitler's invasion of Austria. Readers interested in Kilmt's life and loves may enjoy Elizabeth Hickey's The Painted Kiss; those wanting to learn more about the portrait at the heart of this novel should check out Anne-Marie O'Connor's nonfiction The Lady in Gold.
TransAtlantic: A Novel by Colum McCannSpanning 150 years and two continents, this family saga from National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann ties Frederick Douglass' 1845 journey to Ireland with the first trans-Atlantic flight made in 1919 by two British aviators and with the work of U.S. Senator George Mitchell on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. These great men and the events they're connected to are also linked to a servant girl named Lily, who in 1846 leaves Dublin for New York. A meditation on time, memory, freedom, and war, this complex novel is "an experience to savor" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos: A Novel by Dominic SmithParallel narratives unfold and eventually converge in this multi-layered novel, which explores the legacy of fictional 17th-century Dutch painter Sara de Vos. The artist's masterpiece, At the Edge of a Wood, is stolen from Manhattan attorney Marty de Groot's Upper East Side residence in 1957 and replaced with a skillfully executed forgery that remains a secret for decades -- until museum curator Ellie Shipley, who created the fake, is confronted by the two versions of the painting. Don't miss this richly detailed and complex meditation on art and identity by the author of Bright and Distant Shores.
The Perfume Collector: A Novel by Kathleen TessaroA surprise inheritance sends 1950s London socialite Grace Munroe to Paris in search of her mysterious benefactor. Upon arrival, Grace meets elderly Russian perfumer Madame Zed, who tells her the story of Eva d’Orsey, a hotel maid in 1927 New York whose life takes some dramatic and unexpected turns, thanks to a series of fateful encounters. Steeped in the craft and culture of perfumery, this atmospheric novel shifts back and forth in time to reveal the connection between Grace and Eva.
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